Conferenza ART - C. Thi Nguyen
ART (Aesthetics Research Torino) Philosophical Seminar
Prof. C. Thi Nguyen
(University of UTAH)
April, 12. h 6 pm
Art as a Constructed Shelter from Science
A common view is that aesthetic properties are non-inferential. That is: we cannot infer the existence of property based on the application of a rule. We must see for ourselves if some arrangement of lines and colors is, in fact, graceful. But we also give, exchange, and demand of each other reasons for our judgments about aesthetic properties. What kind of property could be non-inferential, but, at the same time, subject to reasons? I would like to present a new solution: that non-inferentialism about aesthetic properties is not a some mysterious metaphysical feature of aesthetic properties, but is rather a norm of a social practice. When we accept this rule, the activity of aesthetic appreciation goes better in a few ways. First, it drives the appreciator’s attention towards looking at particular details in a work, rather than looking for recurring statistical regularities or abstract principles. This prevents a purely scientific approach to aesthetic judgment, and drives the appreciator towards a detail-oriented perception of a work’s particularities. It drives conversants to continue to sensuously attend to works, rather than shifting to more abstract methods of inquiry such as the philosophical search for first principles, or the scientific study of aggregate regularities in perception. Second, it sculpts a particular kind of interaction: open-ended exchanges of reasons which motivate the conversants to return to attending to the work. The value of the activity of aesthetic appreciation turns out to be quite distinct from that of, say, science. The goal is not the accumulation of true knowledge, but fostering engagement in a particular valuable human activity. Perhaps we don’t disagree about art to get to the truth, but we construct our artworks and art practices to foster endless, satisfying disagreement.
Thi Nguyen used to be a food writer, now he isa philosophy professor at University of Utah. He writes about trust, art, games, and communities. He is interested in the ways that our social structures and technologies shape how we think and what we value.
His first book is Games: Agency as Art. It was awarded the American Philosophical Associations 2021 Book Prize. It’s about how games are the art form that work in the medium of agency. A game designer doesn’t just create a world – they create who we are in that world. Games shape temporary agencies for artistic purposes. And games turn out to be our way of writing down and communicating modes of agency; by playing them, we can try out different forms of agency. Here’s a summary of the book. There have also been some symposia discussing the book.
You can find the list of C. Thi Nguyen’s papers here: https://objectionable.net/philosophy/
ART (Aesthetics Research Torino) is a periodic philosophical seminar organized by the Department of Philosophy and Educational Sciences of the University of Turin and the PhD Program FINO.
Prof. Alessandro Bertinetto (University of Turin).
Prof. Federico Vercellone (University of Turin).
Dr. Paolo Furia (University of Turin).
Dr. Lisa Giombini (University Rome 3).
Dr. Gregorio Tenti (FINO Doctoral School).
Dr. Francesca Perotto (FINO Doctoral School)
Dr. Francesca Monateri (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa)
Dr. Leonardo Pietropaolo (Università di Torino)
ART addresses different topics of the contemporary debate in Aesthetics: philosophy of beauty, philosophy of the arts, theory of sensory experience, philosophy of image and imagination, and history of aesthetics.
ART is supported by:
Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sulla Morfologia Francesco Moiso (CIM)
Centro Studi Arti della Modernità